HP: New Business Laptops, Workstations Part Of ‘Industry’s Largest’ AI PC Portfolio

The PC and print giant’s AI PC portfolio consists of several new HP Elite and Pro business laptops as well as HP ZBook mobile workstations, the latter of which will support a new AI workflow collaboration platform that integrates with Nvidia cloud services.

HP Inc. is entering the AI PC race full throttle with the claim that it’s coming out with the “industry’s largest” portfolio of PCs with advanced AI capabilities.

Unveiled Thursday at HP’s Amplify Partner Conference, the AI PCs include several HP Elite and HP Pro business laptops, an HP Elite small-form-factor desktop and multiple HP ZBook mobile workstations as part the company’s new 11th-generation lineup.

[Related: HP Teams Up With Nvidia To Offer Amplify Partners ‘AI MasterClass’ Training]

The EliteBooks, ProBooks and most of the ZBooks are expected to launch in April while the HP Elite small-form-factor desktop is expected to arrive in August.

The laptops are powered by Intel Core Ultra or next-generation AMD Ryzen Pro processors, both of which feature a CPU, GPU and, for the first time in an HP business laptop, a neural processing unit (NPU) to power a diverse range of AI workloads. The ZBooks also sport an Nvidia RTX GPU to power the “most demanding workflows” for creative professionals.

All of them come with Windows 11 as well as Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant, which, like other AI PCs coming out this year, gets a dedicated key on the keyboard.

“We are proud to represent the industry’s broadest portfolio of AI PCs,” said Alex Cho, president of personal systems at HP, in a statement. “By harnessing AI as a personal tool, we are creating more personalized and meaningful work experiences, revolutionizing the way we interact with technology and each other in the workplace."

How The CPU, GPU And NPU Will Benefit AI Workloads

HP said the CPU, GPU and NPU of the Intel and AMD processors are key to powering a variety of AI workloads in its new generation of business laptops.

While the CPU is “ideal for lightweight, single-inference low-latency workloads like applying photo filters in Photoshop,” the GPU is best suited for heavy-duty, AI-accelerated content creation features like those in Premiere Pro, according to the company.

The NPU, on the other hand, is a “dedicated low-power AI engine ideal for sustained AI tasks,” such as using Windows Studios Effects to blur the background during a video call, HP said.

Using the NPU for background blur doesn’t just free up more resources on the CPU. It can also reduce power consumption by up to 38 percent for such a task, in the case of the new HP Elite 1000 Series, compared with a processor without an NPU, according to the vendor.

HP Refreshes Elite, Pro, ZBook Lines For AI PC Push

The G11 business laptop lineup consists of models with different specifications, features and price points. It starts with the flagship HP Elite 1000 Series, then continues with the HP EliteBook 800/805 Series, HP EliteBook 600/605 Series and HP ProBook 400/405 Series.

While HP said pricing for the HP Elite 1000 series will be available closer to launch, the pricing for the rest of the lineup ranges from a starting price of $1,599 for the HP EliteBook 800/805 Series to a starting price of $949 for the HP ProBook 400 series.

Models that end with a “0” denote that they are using an Intel Core Ultra processor while models that end with a “5” indicate that they are using a next-generation AMD Ryzen Pro processor.

The HP Elite small-form-factor 805 G9 is the lone business desktop PC unveiled in the group, and it comes with the option for an NPU in select models with AMD Ryzen processors as well as an AMD Radeon RX 6300 2-GB or Nvidia T400 4-GB graphics card.

The G11 mobile workstation lineup similarly consists of models with different specifications, features and price points. It starts with the flagship HP ZBook Power, then continues with the HP ZBook Fury, HP ZBook Studio and HP ZBook Firefly. All of these devices come with a discrete Nvidia RTX GPU in addition to an Intel Core Ultra or AMD Ryzen Pro CPU.

HP Elite 1000 Series Laptops Are ‘World’s Most Powerful AI Business PCs’

HP is calling the HP Elite x360 1040 14-inch G11 2-in-1 and HP EliteBook 1040 14-inch G11 notebook in the HP Elite 1000 Series “the world’s most powerful AI business PCs.”

Providing up to 21 hours of battery life and offering a variety of options for bright, high-resolution displays, these laptops come with an Intel Core Ultra 5 or 7 processor in the U or H series in addition to 32 GB of maximum LPDDR5 memory.

These laptops feature a “super-efficient thermal design,” supported by “two industry-first high-density turbo fans,” to “achieve unprecedented noise reduction and give you more performance,” according to HP executive Cory McElroy.

This advanced thermal design works in concert with HP’s AI-based Smart Sense software—which is also available in the new HP Elite 800/805 Series and HP ZBooks—"to provide an almost silent experience” while automatically anticipating and adjusting to a user’s PC usage and behavior to provide the “best balance of performance and power,” he added.

Also exclusive to the HP Elite 1000 Series are three other AI-enabled features: Battery Health Manager, which manages battery performance; Intelligent Hibernate, which optimizes battery life based on usage; and Instant On+ Auto Lock and Awake, which automatically logs on or locks the computer depending on whether the user is present.

On the collaboration side, the new HP Elite 1000, HP Elite 800/805 and HP ZBook designs come with top edge high-quality mics and audio tuning enabled by the company’s Poly Studio software, the latter of which provides an “exceptional audio conferencing experience enhanced by AI noise reduction and dynamic voice leveling,” McElroy said.

Other Features Offered With Every New HP Laptop

In addition to using an Intel or AMD processor that comes with an NPU, most of these client devices come with another chip that HP hopes will set its PCs apart from rivals: the fifth generation of its Endpoint Security Controller.

The PC and print giant said this chip “ensures manageability and protection of sensitive and regulated data” while, for the first time in a business PC, protecting firmware against quantum computer hacks, which are thought to be impossible now but could become a reality in less than 10 years, according to independent research cited by HP.

The computers also come equipped with the company’s HP Wolf Security for Business endpoint security software. Partners and IT departments can manage these PCs and others with a newly launched cloud-based endpoint management tool called HP Cloud Endpoint Manager SaaS, which comes with automated device monitoring and remediation capabilities.

HP CEO Enrique Lores told CRN in an interview that hardware- and software-based security solutions are a “key advantage” in the company’s AI PC strategy, and he hinted that the company plans to expand its capabilities to protect AI models that run on these PCs.

“We have the most secure PCs in the planet. And with AI, it’s not only about securing data. It’s also about securing the models. And we can leverage some of the technology that we have to be able to make it work,” he said.

As for collaboration, all of the new laptops and mobile workstations support one-click-pairing with Poly earbuds thanks to the company’s Direct Bluetooth technology.

The entire lineup also supports ways to monitor power usage and get recommendations on how to lower energy use through a real-time power consumption dashboard, which is integrated into the myHP application for users and HP Proactive Insights for partners and IT departments.

All models except the HP Pro 400/405 series come with the company’s HP Sure View one-touch privacy feature, which protects the screen from onlookers.

ZBooks Get AI Studio Software Integrated With Nvidia Cloud Services

HP’s new ZBook mobile workstations are “high-performance compute solutions designed to power the most demanding workflows,” and this means they come equipped with discrete Nvidia RTX GPUs, ranging from the RTX 5000 to the RTX 500.

To make the workstations more appealing for AI developers, HP is releasing an AI workflow collaboration platform in July called Z by HP AI Studio, which the company announced last fall at the inaugural HP Imagine 2023 event.

Jeri Culp, director of data science and AI solutions at HP, said AI Studio will integrate with Nvidia’s NGC, a cloud platform that provides access fully managed services from the GPU designer such as the NeMo LLM customization service.

“This will provide easy access to data and pre-trained models for our customers’ workflows as well as access to libraries to accelerate their training and time to value with Nvidia GPUs,” she said, adding that HP is the first OEM to integrate NGC into a development platform.

As a result, developers can use AI Studio to “find and use curated models and data,” but they can also use the platform to scale AI model development into the cloud when a single workstation’s processing power will no longer suffice, according to Culp.